In today’s post I am going to discuss the horrific losses that we find in a world going to hell in a handbasket and how the spill exemplifies this process. Today the BP robots are finishing cutting off the final rubbish around the riser from the Blow Out Preventer, they are then starting to cut off the riser and will try to mount a cap to channel the flow. We will all be pleased if they mount a rising conduit.
Here are some points I want to consider today:
1. A unique and separate point from all others is that when something of this magnitude happens I am not willing to eliminate the possibility of an act of war, piracy or terrorism by any party until the total investigation has occurred.
Then there are the more systemic points:
2. Had the deductible on the Oil Pollution Act been $100 million instead of $75 million and had the premium been 15 cents a barrel all this time instead of 8 cents and then a graduated series of co-payments of say 25% to $2 billion, 50% $2-4 billion, 70% from $4 billion to the exhaustion of the fund — had such a sane policy been in force there would be less chance of a disaster and it would have been better managed. BP might find little reason to count most of us their enemies (assuming this is not piracy). This policy might have encouraged the development of clean energy alternatives, safer drilling practices and even a sound coastal policy. I again cite my own proposal. I encourage you to read it if you have not — it predates the crisis: https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/ideal-wetlands-policy-on-the-louisiana-coast/
3. Senator Mary Landrieu (not alone) has long demanded the manifestly fair and necessary revenue sharing by the state had that money been granted we would have had money to invest in coastal restoration.
4.This country is in many ways a tyranny which has betrayed all of its basic constitutional principles and few people have suffered more from that shift than the people of South Louisiana. The structure that have been imposed on the region in so many meanings of the word structure have been really destructive. I know what tyrranical means and so many instances of tyrannical waste exist that I cannot list them all.
5. I may come out of this as a known enemy of the oil and gas industry. If so then it seems grossly unfair to me and to others like me to be put in that position. Although I have earned money from the wetlands and seafood industries directly I have written about and discussed for pay and for free the oil and gas industry. I also got a few hundred dollars of more or less direct oil exploration money once. It rankles, if because of many very bad factors I did not choose, I am cast as a foe of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil and gas have always been part of my life and community.
6. This situation is so bad in so many ways that it would take ages to write about how bad it is. The truth is in a vast catalogue of small and large horrors.
7.There is need for radical change. But radical change is usually bad.